“I love when people tell me that losing weight is easy. Just eat less stupid! With that theory, a lot of things are easy. I mean, basketball is just putting a ball in a hoop. Maybe I just do not get it. Maybe I never will.”
You know the one. Where he is a little guy in those gigantic jeans. Where he is smiling, holding his pants up for dear life. Where no belt can save those pants now.
I did not understand it. I wondered if he just bought a big pair of pants to make himself look smaller.
That is what I thought, until I did it for myself….
A little over a year ago, I donated all of my old clothes to charity. I did not want to keep my bigger clothing in the house.
Although I am kind of cheap, I did feel that there would be a comfort level for me to gain back the weight with those clothes in the house.
So I looked through all of my old clothes. I saw the progression. I saw the 3x shirts that were there when I just lost 100 pounds. The 2x shirts I bought at the “Big/Tall” sections of normal clothing stores. The clothes that were so small on me at 400 pounds were like tents now.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw my old 5x gym shorts. The pair that I wore to the gym for the first time. The one that was never too tight and never too loose.
I decided to put them on for fun. I was inspired by Jared Fogle for a moment. I would hold up the other shirts and pants to my body, but I went in those shorts.
Once I did, tears came rolling down my face.
One great part of the weight loss journey is when you realize what you have done. Sure, we all have scales that tell us “1.4 pounds lost”. But that is a scale.We know there can be a bounce back any day.
We all have people who tell us what a great job we have done. How much better we look. But sometimes we look past the compliments. Wonder about their motives. Is it because they mean it or they just want us to feel good about ourselves?
But once I put on those pants, it changed for me. I realized what I have done.
Every small decision was worth it. Eating apples, going to the gym twice a day, saying no to cookies, talking about my journey. Everything made sense. I was in these pants that a 400 pound man wore proudly.
It is not easy. It is worth it. But I had to realize that. When you are addicted to something, it is hard to let go.
When you think you have beaten it, it comes at you stronger. Stronger than hell.
There are incredibly wealthy people who can not handle their weight. There are incredibly inspiring people who are overweight. There are popular people who can not say no to food.
Why am I any different?
I am not. But at that moment I wanted it. I knew why I did everything to get it. At that moment I knew I would struggle forever, but would fight like Tyson in the eighties.. Hold on for dear life as plateaus and disappointments came my way. And why not, I am not different.
But those shorts made me realize where I was. Did I want to go back? The heavy breathing, coughing blood, the sweats, my wife worrying all the time. Now, my son as well.
Nothing about this is easy.When you are doing well it is hard, and when you are doing poorly it is hard. But when you see the progression, where you were, it is mind boggling.
I threw away those shorts. I realized that I did not want anyone to ever wear those again. Plus, they smelled.
The quote I wrote is from a diary that I wrote in maybe twice a year. But that quote hit me when I was looking at it. Weight loss is not easy. Do not be fooled by people in tight sweat clothing and gurus. We all will struggle. We all will have great weeks and horrible ones.
But it is nice to know once in a while, you can close your eyes, throw the ball up and make a basket.